Can you believe Lent is over? It’s crept up on me this year! After weeks of “I’ll do better next week” or “I’ll start again tomorrow”, I now look back at my attempts at prayer, fasting, almsgiving and general offering-up. It wasn’t one of those Lents where I gave up something big (sweet things, cigarettes, alcohol), and eagerly anticipated celebrating Christ’s resurrection with a Creme Egg McFlurry. I didn’t have a giving-up plan. Although my Lenten preparations weren’t perfect, I didn’t completely fail either. Here are seven quick takes…
- The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
Do you know what the Corporal or the Spiritual works of mercy are? I have to be honest, I didn’t. At the beginning of Lent, I printed them out and stuck them to my fridge, so I looked at them at least a few times a day, and became more intentional about incorporating them into my daily life.
- Visit the Sick
So I know this technically comes under my #1 point, Spiritual works of mercy, but I have done so much of it this Lent, I think it deserves its own bullet point! A few members of my family have been ill and in hospital. Poor them- Florence Nightingale I ain’t! But, with the help of God’s grace, I think I was able to bring a little help and comfort to them. Thank you, God!
Like I said, this year wasn’t one of those Lents where I gave up something big. My diet is almost vegan, and I am avoiding sweet treats as a general rule, so giving up sugary things would be cheating, as I don’t eat any anyway. However, I recently discovered Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies. Super-healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free deliciously chocolatey goodness. No, really! This was my one indulgence since I discovered Deliciously Ella at the beginning of the year. Well, around the second week of Lent, I realised this was my one indulgence that had to go!
- The Social Media Heroic minute?
Have you ever heard of the heroic minute? I first read about it on Brandon Vogt’s blog. The idea was that of Opus Dei founder, St. Jose Maria Escriva;
Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a set time, without granting a single minute to laziness. If with the help of God, you conquer yourself in the moment, you have accomplished a great deal for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find yourself beaten in the first skirmish (The Way 191).
Instead of giving up Facebook but turning to Twitter, or only checking Pinterest on Sundays, I decided to be more intentional about my social media usage. You know those times when you have a free minute and you find yourself drifting off into cyberspace? Or you think “I’ll just have a quick look at Twitter” and what seems like a minute later, you realise you have achieved nothing and actually wasted the last 15 minutes of your life? Well, the Social Media Heroic Minute was about nipping those moments in the bud. Close the browser. Put the smartphone down. Do something worthwhile instead.
I have never been great at doing this every day, even though my husband often reads the Magnificat over breakfast and leaves it on the table. Open. Ready to read. It. Couldn’t. Be. Easier! Some days, I confess, God gets squeezed out. This Lent, I have made an effort that no matter how long my to-do list, to put God at the top. I found that most days, by doing this first, the rest of the to-do list has handled itself!
- Spiritual Journaling
I was delighted to get my hands on a wonderful Blessed Is She Lenten Journal this Lent. I used to keep a spiritual journal, but fell out of practice somewhere along the way. I love getting the daily devotions from the #BISsisterhood, which prompted me to get the journal. Although I haven’t managed to write in it every day, I have been writing in it most days, and will be getting a new journal to continue after Easter Sunday!
- Changing plans
I was really looking forward to the Triduum. Really really looking forward to it. After discovering that the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and the Easter Vigil clashed with baby’s bedtime, I realised I might not make all the Easter ceremonies this year. Then I read Living the Triduum. Although I may not be able to make it to the services, I’m inspired to remember Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through prayer and meditation throughout these days.
How about you? How was your Lent?
Thanks to Kelly for hosting 7QTs! For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!